East Valley man says teen who arranged a group beatdown of his son won’t be charged by MCAO

Feb 19, 2024, 3:07 PM

PHOENIX — The alleged “orchestrator” of a Gilbert Goons beatdown will not be charged by the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, and the father of the victim is incensed.

Rick Kuehner, whose son was beaten outside a Gilbert In-N-Out Burger, joined KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Outspoken with Bruce and Gaydos on Friday and explained why he filed a lawsuit against Gilbert Unified School District for gross negligence.

“Just in shock when I got this news on Thursday that this kid’s not going to be charged, everything got dismissed,” Kuehner said. “This is the instigator, this is the orchestrator.”

The Gilbert Police Department confirmed to KTAR News 92.3 FM that “charges involving this (suspect) were turned down” by the MCAO, the only turn down that Gilbert PD has received since opening the investigation.

The “instigator” teen is the stepson of the principal of Riggs Elementary in Chandler, according to the lawsuit. That principal, Jamie Lander, is currently on leave, according to the Chandler Unified School District.

Riggs is less than five miles away from Perry High School, which Kuehner’s son attended prior to moving overseas to live with his mother.

“This is why these kids continue to do this stuff because they don’t suffer any consequences for their actions, so they think it’s okay, they think it’s cool,” Kuehner said he told an MCAO prosecutor. “And this is why we continue to have these problems throughout the country.”

Kuehner filed a $6 million lawsuit against the school district on Feb. 12 for gross negligence after school and law enforcement officials told Kuehner at multiple stages there was nothing they could do.

“The only way to get accountability sometimes is through a civil action,” Kuehner said. “Our goal is to accomplish some positive change.”

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East Valley man says teen who arranged a group beatdown of his son won’t be charged by MCAO